+
upworthy
More

After tweeting about 100 anti-abortion attacks, here's what one clinic escort hopes will change.

Last Friday's tragic shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado alerted many to just how much violence women's health clinics face in America.

While we were all horrified by the news, those who work closely with or volunteer at women's health clinics were not surprised by it. It was one more attack in a long string of endless attacks that they and their colleagues have endured over the years.

Enduring threats of violence is a fact of life for many abortion and women's health care providers. Many work at these clinics behind bulletproof glass and even wear bulletproof vests on the job, as the Guardian reports. The Daily Intelligencer reported that the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood has safe rooms that came in handy during the shooting.


Three people were killed in a shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood on Nov. 27, 2015. Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images News.

In the aftermath of Friday's shooting, some women's health workers shared stories of the violence (threatened or otherwise) they face every day.

Writer Bryn Greenwood tweeted about the violence she witnessed while working and volunteering at abortion clinics in Kansas, including with Dr. George Tiller, who was shot and killed by an anti-choice activist at his church in 2009.


Clinic escort Michelle Kinsey Bruns tweeted a string of 100 violent incidents that abortion providers have faced since the 1970s.

Bruns, who goes by @ClinicEscort on Twitter, decided to become a clinic escort for abortion patients after Dr. Tiller's murder.

Using the hashtag #is100enough to call attention to the fact that even one attack should be enough to create change, she tweeted about incidents from March 1976 to Nov. 29, 2015.

"The antichoice tweets of the last 24 hours fall into two categories: [1] people who are doubling down on the justifiability of pro-life murder, and [2] people who are flat-out denying objective reality," Bruns told Upworthy in an email.



While she hoped her tweets conveyed the frequency and severity of the violence that clinic workers, health providers, and patients face every day, "I can't help people who apparently won't even click into a thread with 100 citations," Bruns said.

But what Bruns said she didn't see in her Twitter mentions is even one anti-choice supporter saying that, yes, they believe abortion is wrong, "but so are the tactics of my movement.'"

After Bruns' #is100enough history lesson, she said, anti-choice critics began falling silent.

"By Sunday, when the shooter's 'no more baby parts' comment was leaked (and when I began tweeting my 100 selected examples of antichoice terror tactics), anti-choice Twitter was conspicuously silent," she said. "Only a few doubled down. On Friday, I got hundreds of belligerent antichoice tweets. On Sunday, I got a few dozen."

The accused Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooter, Robert Lewis Dear, allegedly told police "no more baby parts" when he surrendered, a clear reference to the falsified and heavily edited videos released by an anti-choice organization in July that appeared to show Planned Parenthood officials selling fetal parts.

Planned Parenthood shooting suspect Robert Lewis Dear. Photo via Getty Images News.

Even though these videos were debunked, they were a main focus at the first Republican presidential debate, where candidate Carly Fiorina spoke of them as though they were true, and she continues to maintain that she was right about what they showed despite not being able to produce the footage requested. A video that her PAC produced in support of her statements showed a stillborn baby that was passed off as an aborted fetus, which had been included without the mother's permission.

In the four months since the misleading videos were released, the FBI reported a noticeable increase in attacks at reproductive health care facilities, as Vox points out. Four of these incidents were against specific Planned Parenthood locations.

In the aftermath of this shooting, Bruns says she wants to see a turning point in the abortion conversation.

"This country has made so many compromises on reproductive freedom that maybe people are realizing that there's no more room to compromise without giving it all away entirely," she said.

The anti-choice movement might not want to be affiliated with Robert Lewis Dear, but it's clear that its rhetoric influenced his behavior, as it has influenced over 100 others before him. We have made enough compromises. 1 in 3 women will get an abortion in her lifetime. It's time to change the conversation.

As Bruns put it:

"We need to elect some pro-choice women. We need to bring up the abortion storylines on Scandal or Jessica Jones in casual conversations. We need to call our City Council members and say, 'Actually, I DO want a clinic in our town.' We need to support, not shame, people who have abortions. We need to tell Uncle Boyd that he's wrong about the kinds of women who have abortions, or why. We need to tell Uncle Boyd that even if 'those women' have abortions for 'those reasons,' it's their God-given right to make family decisions that are right for them."

Until we do, people like Dear will continue this brand of homegrown terrorism. And as Bruns' hashtag asks, if 100 attacks isn't enough, what is?

Image from YouTube video.

An emotional and strong Matt Diaz.


Matt Diaz has worked extremely hard to lose 270 pounds over the past six years.

But his proudest moment came in March 2015 when he decided to film himself with his shirt off to prove an important point about body positivity and self-love.

Keep ReadingShow less
Community

Man uses social media to teach others ASL so kids don't experience what he did as a child

Every child should be able to communicate in a way that works best for them.

Man teaches people ASL so no child experiences what he did

People start communicating from the moment they enter the world usually through cries, faces, grunts and squeals. Once infants move into the toddler phase the combine all of their previous communication skills with pointing and saying a few frequently used words like "milk," "mama," "dada" and "eat."

Children who are born without the ability to hear often still go through those same stages with the exception of their frequently used words being in sign language. But not all hearing parents know sign language, which can stunt the language skills of their non-hearing child. Ronnie McKenzie is an American Sign Language advocate that uses social media to teach others how to sign so deaf and nonverbal kids don't feel left out.

"But seriously i felt so isolated 50% of my life especially being outside of school i had NONE to sign ASL with. Imagine being restricted from your own language," McKenzie writes in his caption.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Wife says husband's last name is so awful she can't give it to her kids. Is she right?

"I totally get we can’t shield kids from everything, and I understand the whole family ties thing, but c’mon."

A wife pleads with her husband to change their child's name.

Even though it’s 2023 and schools are much more concerned with protecting children from bullying than in the past, parents still have to be aware that kids will be kids, and having a child with a funny name is bound to cause them trouble.

A mother on Reddit is concerned that her future children will have the unfortunate last name of “Butt,” so she asked people on the namenerds forum to help her convince her husband to name their child something different.

(Note: We’re assuming that the person who wrote the post is a woman because their husband is interested in perpetuating the family name, and if it were a same-sex relationship, a husband probably wouldn’t automatically make that assumption.)

"My husband’s last name is Butt. Can someone please help me illuminate to him why this last name is less than ideal,” she asked the forum. “I totally get we can’t shield kids from everything and I understand the whole family ties thing, but c'mon. Am I being unreasonable by suggesting our future kid either take my name, a hybrid, or a new one altogether?"

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Bus driver comes to the rescue for boy who didn't have an outfit for school's Pajamas Day

“It hurt me so bad…I wanted him to have a good day. No child should have to miss out on something as small as pajama day.”

Representative Image from Canva

One thoughtful act can completely turn someone's day around.

On the morning just before Valentine’s Day, school bus driver Larry Farrish Jr. noticed something amiss with Levi, one of his first grade passengers, on route to Engelhard Elementary, part of Jefferson County Public School (JCPS) in Louisville, Kentucky.

On any other day, the boy would greet Farrish with a smile and a wave. But today, nothing. Levi sat down by himself, eyes downcast, no shining grin to be seen. Farrish knew something was up, and decided to inquire.

With a “face full of tears,” as described on the JCPS website, Levi told Farrish that today was “Pajama Day” at school, but he didn’t have any pajamas to wear for the special occasion.
Keep ReadingShow less
via Imgur

Memories of testing like this gets people fired up.

It doesn't take much to cause everyone on the internet to go a little crazy, so it's not completely surprising that an incorrect answer on a child's math test is the latest event to get people fired up.

The test in question asked kids to solve "5 x 3" using repeated addition. Under this method, the correct answer is "5 groups of 3," not "3 groups of 5." The question is typical of Common Core but has many questioning this type of standardized testing and how it affects learning.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

There are over 30 years between these amazing before-and-after photos.

"It's important for me for my photography to make people smile."

All photos by Chris Porsz/REX/Shutterstock.

Before and after photos separated by 30 years.


Chris Porsz was tired of studying sociology.

As a university student in the 1970s, he found the talk of economics and statistics completely mind-numbing. So instead, he says, he roamed the streets of his hometown of Peterborough, England, with a camera in hand, snapping pictures of the people he met and listening to their stories. To him, it was a far better way to understand the world.

He always looked for the most eccentric people he could find, anyone who stood out from the crowd. Sometimes he'd snap a single picture of that person and walk away. Other times he'd have lengthy conversations with these strangers.

Keep ReadingShow less